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Amber Hagerman’s Mother Holds On To Hope

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News
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Donna Norris, mother of Amber Hagerman, whose murder created the 'Amber Alert' system.

Donna Norris, mother of Amber Hagerman, whose murder created the ‘Amber Alert’ system.

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Donna Norris slowly picked up a Pocahontas Barbie Wednesday and touched her hair, saying, “She loved her Pocahontas.”

Dozens of dolls sit on shelves surrounded by Amber Hagerman’s pictures.

The 9-year-old’s mother can tell you about every one of them. In fact, no matter where Norris has moved, she always has a room for Amber and all her things.

“I come and play with her dolls like she did,” Norris said. “And remember sweet memories of her.”

Having those few things that once belonged to her daughter is how the mother said she finds comfort 15-years after she buried Amber, for which the Amber Alert is named.

“I miss her so much; her beautiful smile – her laughter – her being silly. But she will get justice and I will see to that, I promise her,” Norris said.

Thursday will be the 15th anniversary of Amber’s kidnapping and her murder.

Her family will hold a vigil at the corner of E Abram Street and Browning Dr. in Arlington at 7:30 p.m.

Amber was abducted on a Saturday afternoon from the parking lot of a vacant grocery store and murdered.

Her throat was slashed and her body was discovered four days after her disappearance in a creek in North Arlington.

To this day leads have turned cold.

Investigators say they still get three-to-four leads a month.

“It’s hard not to think about her,” said Detective Ben Lopez, lead investigator on the case.

“You never know when the right lead is going to come in, no matter how small the lead is, no matter how insignificant it might seem, we work every lead,” Lopez said.

Only one witness has come forward.

But police believe others may have seen what happened inside a Laundromat near where Amber was kidnapped.

Investigators fear they stayed quiet because they were in the country illegally.

“I don’t know this person, I don’t know if he’s my neighbor or if he’s around me or if I talk to him every day,” Norris said. “I guess he has no remorse. I want him to be caught, I want Amber to have justice.”

This case started the Amber Alert System, established locally by DFW Broadcasters in 1997.

In August of 2002, Texas established a statewide Amber Alert Plan.

The next year, former President George W. Bush signed a law that created a national Amber Alert Plan.

Norris prays this is the year her daughter’s killer is caught.
Amber would have been 24-years-old now.

“Somebody would have had to see something. Somebody knows something. Please come forward,” Norris said. “He took away us watching her grow and watch her get married or fall in love for the first time. We miss that -her graduation from high school – it’s not fair.”

The only description about Amber’s killer is that he was in a black truck and he may have been white or Hispanic.

There is still a $75,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

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